B.C. businessman admits to college scam, sentencing in July

Vancouver businessman, ex-CFL player David Sidoo plead guilty to mail fraud conspiracy charge

A former Canadian Football League player pleaded guilty Friday to participating in a college admissions cheating scheme by hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons.

Vancouver businessman David Sidoo pleaded guilty to a mail fraud conspiracy charge in Boston federal court.

The plea deal calls for Sidooo to serve 90 days in prison and pay a $250,000 fine, which must be approved by the judge.

Sidoo was among 50 prominent parents, university athletic coaches and others charged last March in the alleged scheme, which authorities say involved rigged entrance exams and bogus athletic credentials to make applicants look like star athletes for sports they didn’t play.

ALSO READ: B.C. businessman to plead guilty in U.S. college admissions scam

Prosecutors said Sidoo paid the admissions consultant at the centre of the scheme $200,000 to have someone pose as his sons using a fake ID to secure higher scores on their SATs.

Sidoo, who is known for his philanthropic causes in British Columbia, played professional football for six years for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and B.C. Lions.

He was CEO of mining firm Advantage Lithium Corp. when he was arrested last year and was also a founding shareholder of an oil and gas company that was sold in 2010 for more than $600 million.

Sidoo, 60, said little in court except to answer questions from the judge about the plea agreement. His lawyer, Martin Weinberg, declined to comment after the hearing. Sidoo is scheduled to be sentenced in July.

He had been scheduled to go on trial in January alongside six other prominent parents still fighting charges in the case. Eight other parents, including “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are scheduled to stand trial in October.

Sidoo joins nearly two dozen parents, including “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, who have already pleaded guilty. Huffman was sentenced to two weeks in prison. Sentences for other parents range from no prison time to nine months behind bars.

The test taker, Mark Riddell, pleaded guilty last April and has been co-operating with investigators. He has not yet been sentenced.

ALSO READ: Accused test-taker pleads guilty in college bribery scandal involving B.C. businessman

Sidoo graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1982 where he held a four-year football scholarship with the UBC Thunderbirds. After graduating, he was the first Indo-Canadian to play professionally in the CFL.

He has received the Order of B.C. and is a member of the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame.

His biography on the Hall of Fame website says he grew up in New Westminster and went on to become an MVP defensive back at UBC, where he helped lead the football team to an undefeated season and the school’s first ever Vanier Cup national championship in 1982.

— With files from The Canadian Press

Alanna Durkin Richer, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

No swimming or skating at Juan de Fuca rec centre for now

The Q Centre to reopen starting on July 13

Saanich councillors scurry to ban rat poisons on municipal properties

A ‘small but important first step’ to protect local wildlife, councillor says

Sidney’s Star Cinema looks to reel in audience with reopening

It’s lights, camera, action — again — for Sidney’s Star Cinema in… Continue reading

Unemployment surpasses historic high in Greater Victoria, tourism hit hard

Hospitality and tourism sectors hurting as pandemic continues

Victoria tattoo shops respond to sex assault allegations against male artists

Carne Tattoo and Painted Lotus Studios respond to allegations

VIDEO: Langford cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Most Read